Just like millions of other people, New Years means I choose to make a major change in my life — and then don’t. I’ve tried the “I will get a 4.0 GPA this semester” resolution, the “I will run a marathon” resolution, and the ever popular “I will I will lose 10 pounds by summer” resolution. All of these I did strive toward for a couple months, and some were more successful than others. My GPA isn’t a 4.0, but it’s pretty dang close. I haven’t ran a marathon yet, but heck at least I run more than I used to! And I lost 5 pounds, not 10. So my New Year’s promises weren’t epic failures. Still, I think I’ve been going about them all wrong.
I’m not going to resolve to not make a resolution because I do think it’s important to give yourself a goal and have something to strive toward. I feel the problem with New Years is that people are completely unrealistic. Planning on going to the gym every single day is not practical. If you have a family or any other obligation in your life, something will inevitably come up that keeps you from getting there one day. Then you’ll feel like a failure and give up completely. I’ve been there, done that.
This year, I’m taking my dear, sweet time developing my resolutions, but here are a few that I’m thinking about:
1) Do something to show my husband I love and appreciate him more often.
2) Continue to work toward running goals, and run first race this year.
3) Do something to give back to the world in some way – volunteer, donate, etc.
I feel like these goals are general enough that I cannot fail, but will still make me a better person in one way or another. I didn’t make the same promises that I’ve made in the past because I don’t want my past failure to impact my new goals.
My advice for developing your own resolutions?
Make smaller goals. Success is relative — you don’t need a large goal to work towards. Maybe you’ll even accomplish them early in the year and be more motivated to continue on! So this time instead of telling yourself that you’ll lose 100 pounds by next year, don’t give yourself a set number. Just resolve to see the number on the scale go down. That way, your goal is reasonable and attainable.
Make more than one. Heck make 4 or 5 resolutions! Okay, at that point you might lose track of them. But if you make multiple promises to yourself, you’re bound to keep at least one. On the other hand, make sure if you’re doing more than one that you don’t spread yourself too thin. Keep them small and simple.
Don’t resolve to do anything you failed to do in the past. This doesn’t mean last years resolution to get in shape doesn’t matter any more. Being healthy is one of those goals that never goes away. I just feel your chance of fulfilling a New Years promise increases if it isn’t the exact same one you didn’t do last New Years. If you resolved to “start eating healthy” before, and it didn’t pan out, make a fresh, new goal this year. Instead of trying to do major calorie cuts in your diet, resolve to swap one junk food item for a more nutritious option. If you eat out almost every day, resolve to make one meal a week at home. These will still get you on a healthier path without the sense of imminent failure.
I hope these help! Have a safe and Happy New Year everyone!
Have you made any resolutions this year? What are some things you hope to accomplish in 2012?